The Red Screen: Politics, Society, Art in Soviet Cinema

By Anna Lawton | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER 14

Alexei German, or the Form of Courage

GIOVANNI BUTTAFAVA

Emerging from that strange and hidden Soviet reserve where films that had been shot but not released waited for a chance to come out, two works directed by the same director, Alexei German, have come to light at the inception of perestroika. They have been kept "hidden" for two, even fifteen y ears. It has thus been possible to examine one of the most original and symptomatic creative personalities in contemporary Soviet cinema, known up to now through a single film: Twenty Days without War (1976).

The son of writer Yuri German, who emphasized individual destinies in his works more than group prospectives-problems, conflicts and hardship more than calls to order, enthusiasm and harmony-Alexei German made his début at 29 at the side of the older and more experienced Grigori Aronov, then 44. The film was The Seventh Traveling Companion (1967), a film about revolutionary adventures revolving around a fairly unusual hero: a Tsarist general who finds himself alternately in the camps of Reds and Whites, and who realizes all the values he believed in have collapsed; a hero full of doubts and contradictions. German's central theme is already present: the instability of historical "rôles", the overturning of ideological certainties, the ungraspable complexity of the real.

When he is given the chance to direct a film on his own, his first real film, Alexei German uses as his inspiration the war prose of father Yuri (who died three years earlier, in 1967). Here he develops the most unusual and courageous themes linked to the revision of Manichaean rhetoric in Stalinist culture, which began at the end of the fifties. This process, although slowed down at the beginning of the seventies, irresistibly laid out several paths

-275-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Red Screen: Politics, Society, Art in Soviet Cinema
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 360

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?